Doctors are not warning about the deadly consequences of using aluminum foil, contrary to a story being shared on social media.
Such online claims are not new. In one that surfaced this week on a diet and recipe site, the story suggests that aluminum is “neurotoxic” and can lead to mental decline — even Alzheimer’s disease. It also says using aluminum can lead to loss of balance and co-ordination and may damage bones.
Everyday exposure to aluminum is not considered a health hazard, experts said, and it is nearly impossible to avoid the metal. Most food, water, air and soil contain some aluminum. It’s used in processing food and medicine, including flour, baking soda, antacids and buffered aspirin.
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“Most researchers and health care professionals believe, based on current knowledge and information, that consumption and use of aluminum is not a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s,” said Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association.
Rules limit exposure to aluminum dust in the air to protect U.S. workers from breathing problems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says food cooked in aluminum pots is generally considered to be safe. The CDC says the best way to avoid consuming aluminum is to limit intake of large quantities of antacids and buffered aspirin.
“Aluminum can also migrate into food from cookware, utensils and wrapping materials, but most studies have shown that the amount of aluminum leached from these sources is generally negligible,” Health Canada says.
Back in June 2012, Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, asked a Canadian chemistry professor whether cooking with alumium pots is bad for your health: